Every business owner knows that client satisfaction is fundamental to the success of any organization, whether a service company, a manufacturer, or a retailer. What many owners don't know, however, is that customer expectations are changing, and to keep customers satisfied, the website development process and the ways you are doing business must change too.
Entrepreneur Micah Solomon listed in Forbes.com his Top Ten list of ways customers and customer expectations are changing.
1. What does "fast" mean? The customer's expectation of timeliness has increased dramatically. As Amazon.com often makes deliveries the following day and when many organizations have 24/7 online staffing to answer questions and concerns or to take orders or deal with problems, it is simply not good enough to respond in a day or two. With an estimated 85 percent of millennials (ages 18-35) using smart phones, instantaneous service is expected.
2. Typos and errors aren't allowed. Customers expect accuracy in a technological world, so inaccuracies regarding such problems as the cost of a specific procedure, what items are in stock, when a product can be delivered, or inaccurate product specifications are not acceptable.
3. Willingness to help. Solomon says that customers are more than willing to assist in the service process, such as filling out forms, filling in contact information, to avoid mistakes.
4. Extended hours. Try to attain 24/7, at the very least for support services.
5. Money back guarantee. Amazon set the lead, and other companies must follow. The expectation is that products will be guaranteed, with no questions or hassles.
6. No hidden costs. A growing trend is resentment over hidden costs or fees, particularly shipping costs. Customers don't want to read the fine print.
7. Omnichannel integration. Customers expect companies to honor the same offers in all channels (web, in-store, phone, mobile, catalog), and they expect to move between channels without a problem. A catalog offer, then, must be available if the customer calls by phone, a mobile offer must be honored in the store. Likewise, a credit card on file from a phone order should be available in the store, and in-store purchase history should be available to an online customer service rep.
8. Pay attention and respond! Customers expect you to be monitoring their communications, complaints, and compliments, and they expect a response that is quick and thorough. As Solomon says, "If a customer says something about, or to, a company via Twitter, a web form, or any other channel, they expect the company to notice, to react, and to respond." This is just as important for service providers as it is for manufacturers and retailers. Customers want your response.
9. Get real. There is a growing desire for more authenticity in communication--customers dislike scripted speech. The automatic buzzwords and canned responses in a service call sound like nails on a chalkboard. "Thank you for choosing XYZ as your one-stop internet service provider" sounds phony, and is phony.
10. They're empowered. For the most part, customers know they're "always right" and they have the social media voice to make sure you know it too.
We can help you meet your customers' changing expectations by helping you develop your website and social media channels to keep on top of these customer trends. With our talented team of engineers, analysts and designers, we offer you complete life-cycle development and support for website applications, mobile applications, online integration, and responsive design. We can help you rethink business processes, leverage the latest mobile and desktop technologies, and optimize your web presence to any size device or screen.
Is your organization ready to meet and exceed the expectations of your customers? Let us show you how we can support your business goals. Contact us.